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Boston Marathon qualifiers, community volunteer groups prepare for scenic run

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The two different races will both end at the Rainbow Trout Farm in Sandy. The half marathon starts on Lolo Pass Road and the marathon starts at Timberline Lodge in Government Camp. REVEL, a company which coordinates races around the United States, has blazed a new trail and it runs down Mount Hood.

Bright and early on Saturday, July 28, runners from all over the country will find their marks on a marathon or half-marathon course down the mountain. REVEL has coined the phrase "fast and beautiful" to describe the 26-mile stretch from Timberline Lodge in Government Camp to the Rainbow Trout Farm at 52200 E. Sylvan Drive in Sandy.

"We love the Pacific Northwest and one of the first things we explored when I came on was hosting at Mount Hood," said Vice President of Business Development Cydney Westgate. "The beauty and the weather are what I'm looking forward to about the race. You have such a beautiful climate. We don't have another race as beautiful as this one."

Fortunately for many, the Mount Hood marathon is not only beautiful, but can qualify avid athletes for the Boston Marathon.

"People come from all over to these events to finally accomplish their dream," Westgate noted.

Aside from an expected 2,000 runners, local nonprofit organizations and businesses stand to benefit from the event coming to their backyard. REVEL actually invites nonprofit groups to man hydration stations along the race and in return, the company gives those organizations back part of the proceeds. Businesses can also get involved by coordinating with REVEL to greet runners after they cross the finish line, and offering information and products for purchase at booths.

"I'm excited because it will bring close to 2,000 runners and their families to the mountain, which will support our lodging, our restaurants and our community," noted Mt. Hood Chamber of Commerce Vice President Coni Scott. "Hopefully they'll see how beautiful it is and come back."

Each station during the race will have five to eight people handing out water and equipped with first aid kits. There are still some spots available, and those interested should call Scott at 503-622-5754.

"We have families that are doing it, couples that are doing it," Scott said. "I'm volunteering because it's going to market our area."

"Oregon has really just impressed us with how much the people are willing to volunteer," Cydney added. "We've been extremely lucky."

There is no fee for spectators at the event.

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